King Edward Estate

By Ian Mott

The original part of the King Edward Estate was built by Billericay UDC starting in 1946. Its layout was based on the 1901 Manor House Estate Plan as can be seen from the following:

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'King Edward Estate' page

The original plots that made up the Manor House Estate were 20ft wide by 120ft or more long. This was a common size for the plotland plots in the area and when setting up home in the area families would purchase one, two or more plots.

The following photograph was taken from the High Road looking up King Edward Road. The Friths caption says it was taken in circa 1960, looking at the new clean concrete fence posts it is thought early to mid 1950's

Photo of Laindon, King Edward Road c1960, ref. L150031
Reproduced courtesy of Francis Frith.

This page was added by Ian Mott on 08/04/2014.
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Ian.  Alexander Road is in Langdon Hills.  The road I lived in off King Edward Road in Laindon was called Alexandra Road (the female version).   Its exact and correct position is clearly shown on the 1922 map in my article called ‘A Century of Changes’.  I believe Alexandra Road going west to east as shown on the above map was a proposed road that never happened. (Maybe there had been a footpath at one time, but I’ve never seen it mentioned on any map other than the proposed one above).   There were just four bungalows in Alexandra Road; Spion Kop, Pendennis, Rosedene and Horton.

Neither Archer Road nor Bourne Avenue are mentioned on the 1929 Electoral Register.  This was probably because the bungalows along there weren’t built until the thirties.  I’m sure I’ve seen reference to them in other years during the 30s and 40s in the Electoral Registers at the Chelmsford Record Office (I feel another visit to the Records Office coming on).  Bourne Avenue and its bungalows definitely appears on the 1949 Electoral Register, they were:-  Bona Vista, Herandi, Alicia, Dadizzeele, Doreen, Pauline, Jasmine and Lawnview.  Therefore any name change must have taken place prior to 1949.  Intriguing stuff!

I absolutely agree that the roads leading off the High Road formed the basis of the King Edward Estate.  However, King Edward Road was very long and Billericay Council only developed as far as Devonshire Road.    Technically speaking, the estate consisted of the part where Billericay Council made up the roads and built houses (i.e. King Edward Road Council Estate).  However, the length which remained unmade was, after all, still part of King Edward Road, with Alexandra Road leading off it.  Certainly we in that area considered ourselves part of the King Edward Estate and the local services certainly did.  The Water Board,  Electicity Board, Rates Department etc, referred to us as the unmade part of the King Edward Estate.  It was of course also our postal address.

Thank you for the information about the fields.  I hadn’t realised they were owned by Southfields Farm.  The field to the east of our garden, where Bourne Close was built, my dad always referred to as Buckenham’s field. (I remember watching a chap ploughing that field with a horse and plough in the early 50s, dad used to chat to him over the hedge).

A few yards north of there a parachute mine came down in September 1940.  Local families (including mine) were evacuated to Laindon High Road School until it was detonated, leaving a large crater.   The field to the north of the rectangle in the above map, my family always to referred to as ‘Snaggs’.  Goodness knows what that meant!  

Laindon has such an interesting history.  

By Nina Humphrey(née Burton)
On 11/04/2014

It is appreciated that this Manor House Estate Plan was only a proposal. However the roads coming off the High Road, with the exception of Alexander Road formed the basis for the Development of the King Edward Estate.

Alexander Road and the extension of Tattenham Road north of King Edward Road, had disappeared before hand possibly when Laindon High Road School  was built. Also at this time it is likely that Cromer Avenue was added linking King Edward and Archer Road. When the section of road between Cromer Avenue and Devonshire Road became Bourne Avenue I have yet to find out. The only section of Alexander Road I have found record of so far other than on the above plan is West of Devonshire Road.

It is appreciated that not all the plots were 20ft by 120ft but this was the common size adopted for the plots within the majority of the Laindon and Dunton Plotlands.

Just a point of interest the land at the western end of Bourne Avenue was not purchased by Billericay UDC, when the King Edward Estate was built, and was still part of Southfields Farm estate until Fords Built there Research Centre.

By Ian Mott
On 10/04/2014

This was my home ground where I grew up and my family had a plot since 1915.

The map at the top of the article (which I have seen before) was only a ‘proposed’ plan for The Manor House Estate, not all of which was completed as shown.  Not all the land was sold off as 20ft x 120ft plots.  The large rectangular area shown as ‘The Retreat’ at the top left of the map was about four acres in total and was sold as such.  The lower right quarter of that rectangular area (approx. 1 acre) was where our bungalow ‘Spion-Kop’ had stood. 

I have some paperwork that shows that this land was first sold in 1904 by the land agent, Thomas Helmore.  A bungalow called “The Retreat” was built in the north west of the rectangle.   The 1910 Electoral Register shows Ada and Herbert B Hurren living in ‘The Retreat’.  The following year, 1911, the Electoral Register shows the Cooper family had moved in.  The family were Fred and Emma, their daughter Irene and Fred’s brother Jim.  I have previously written about this family in my article ‘A Century of Changes’.

The lower right quarter of the rectangle was sold to an ‘E. Wright’ in 1904 who sold it in 1907 to James Alexander Burling who lived in Leytonstone, Stratford, where my grandmother, Amy Burton also lived”.  James died in 1915, leaving his ‘Laindon estate’ to Amy in his will.  From that time, the Burton family used the acre of ground and small two roomed wooden building as a weekend and holiday retreat.  It became used as a home for one of Amy’s married sons during the 20s, when an old London tram was used for extra sleeping accommodation.  By 1930, her youngest son George (my dad) had also moved in with his new wife.  Both couples moved out soon after and by 1934 Amy had passed ‘Spion Kop’ on to my dad.  Amy died in 1938 and my dad moved into the property permanently. 

‘The Retreat’ shown on the above map appears as a road.  However, there was never a road there, just the bungalow called ‘The Retreat’.   Alexandra Road, shown running west to east from The Retreat never existed (as can been seen on the 1922 map in my article “A century of Changes”).  In fact from 1928, Laindon High Road School and playing field was situated west of the High Road, where Alexandra Road had once been planned.  Alexandra Road became the road that ran from the unmade part of King Edward Road northwards to our bungalow ‘Spion Kop’.

The area shown as Archer Road isn’t quite right either.  The length of road containing the word ‘Archer’ was actually Bourne Avenue.    I knew both unmade roads very well, with their many little plotland bungalows.  Where the two were joined by the ‘z’ there was always a particularly very wet muddy patch!

King Edward Road was unmade until the 40s, my family watched the development of King Edward Estate, although their area was never included and the unmade roads were never made up.  I walked through the King Edward Estate every day to and from school when I was a child.  I remember thinking the estate was ‘The Town’ with its made up roads,  terraced and semi houses and where we lived further to the west was ‘The Country’ with its unmade roads, plotland bungalows and many lovely fields. 

Bourne Avenue was ‘made up’ in the early sixties and Bourne Close was built next to our hedge.  I moved out when I married in 1969 but visited most weekends.  My parent’s property was compulsory purchased in 1975.

It is so good to record all this history for future generations.

By Nina Humphrey(née Burton)
On 09/04/2014

Ian, thanks for posting the map at the top of this article. For me the fascinating thing is the Great Cowles Estate to the right of the map which is what Billy Anderson was referring to in recent correspondence. The absence of Nichol Road and Claremont Road from this map prove that in 1901 the area was virtually a rural scene. In the Frith photo I am thinking the Morris Minor could be the photographers own car (or the midwife's transport) either way I would agree mid fifties.

By Richard Haines
On 09/04/2014